Philadelphia Eagles: Will They Franchise DeSean Jackson?

Darren GrossmanCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2012

will the eagles franchise d-jax?
will the eagles franchise d-jax?Rob Carr/Getty Images

As the NFC and AFC championships are today, I would much rather be talking about the Eagles' chances in the big games today.  However, since the Eagles are not in the big games, I thought I would write about Desean Jackson.

Will the Eagles franchise D-Jax, or maybe the better question is, should they franchise D-Jax?

Those two questions may have two different answers. 

Let's tackle the first part of the question first. Will they franchise him? I believe the answer to that question is yes. The Eagles are unlikely to let Jackson walk away and get nothing back for him.  Therefore, I do believe the franchise tag will be applied. Also, Jackson has said he would accept the tag, which increases the odds that the Eagles use it on him.

So the Eagles will likely franchise Desean Jackson, which will guarantee him about nine million dollars next season.

Should the Eagles give Jackson nine million? That question is a bit tougher to answer. First, the Eagles lack a lot of wide receiver options, so barring they find a cheaper replacement, I think they have to offer the tag. Once they tag him, they can try to work out a long-term deal with Jackson that is a bit more cap friendly.

Jackson is a talented wide receiver, but I am not sure he is one of the top 10 in the league, which is what the franchise tag will pay him as. However, he is still young, and he is definitely explosive. He also has good chemistry with Michael Vick, and Andy Reid likes him.

Making a long term commitment to Jackson is a risk due to his concussion history and his size, as smaller receivers tend to break down quicker than larger ones. At the end of the day, I believe the Eagles should and will use the tag on Jackson.

That will give them time to negotiate a long term deal, which will hopefully be for four or five years and less than 50 million. Anything more than that, and I would have to consider looking elsewhere, especially if Buffalo does not franchise Stevie Johnson.